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This article has been re-written with current engine version information here: Detail Maps


Although the code of this system is much different; it functions much the same way as detail bump in order to prevent any extra work from using a traditional bump map although that function is still possible as well.

If you want to make full use of this feature you may add two additional channels; a diffuse in blue and gloss in the alpha.


Detail mapping is a simple technique to add surface macro detail at relatively low cost, memory and performance wise.

Now all previous existing techniques are unified into a single approach. This simplifies code side and art setup and offers also better performance since it avoids additional redundant render pass.

Detail Map EnabledDetail Map Disabled

How to Use

Due to being an unified approach, the detail map has to be assembled by artist in following way:

And save CryTIF file with corresponding preset:


Such channel mapping is a required step, due to how DXT5 compression works, since allows to have better quality for the normal map.

Extra notes

Try using as low resolution as possible detail mapping for best performance (256x256 or lower).

Due to DXT5 compression, its possible at times to bump into compression artifacts. To alleviate try following:

  • Hide artifacts by using higher scale for tiling.
  • Decrease contrast on detail diffuse/gloss.
  • Last case scenario (and really last), save as "MergedDetailMap_HighQ". Note that this will save uncompressed texture format. Also, for performance RC will decrease resolution by 2x.

Detail Mapping Params

For artists familiar with previous detail mapping approaches, it works exactly same but in more friendly way. UV tilling can now be setup through regular material parameters.

Shader ParamsDescription
Detail bump scaleMultiplier for detail bump mapping. 0 means no detail bump.
Detail diffuse scaleMultiplier for detail diffuse. 0 means no detail, 1 means maximum blending.
Detail gloss scaleMultiplier for detail gloss. 0 means no detail, 1 means maximum blending.
TileUSets tilling amount for U axis.
TileVSets tilling amount for V axis.
Shader Gen ParamsDescription
Detail mappingEnable the use of a detail mapping texture. This texture goes in the "Detail" slot in the Texture Maps section.
Detail map is NORMALMAPDEPRECATED - Fetch detail map as a normal map texture, otherwise it will be fetched as a color texture.
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